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Mich. Baptists pledge prayer for Sutherland Springs

INKSTER, Mich. (BP) — Michigan Baptists increased their budget 31 percent from the current year and pledged prayer for the Texas church where a gunman massacred 26 people Nov. 5.

Messengers to the Baptist State Convention of Michigan also eliminated shared ministry expenses from their budget and anticipated increasing the total Cooperative Program amount forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention causes by some 16 percent above the amount received by the SBC during its 2016-17 fiscal year.

The Michigan convention convened Nov. 7-8 at Middlebelt Baptist Church in Inkster, Mich., with 109 messengers representing 53 of the convention’s 314 cooperating churches. Some 23 guests also were present, with a meeting theme of “The Power of One!”

The 2018 budget of $2,693,073 anticipates $1,340,000 in CP giving from churches, $701,000 from the North American Mission Board and $68,262 from LifeWay Christian Resources.

The 27.5 percent of CP funds the convention will forward to SBC national and international missions and ministries is down from 32.5 percent in 2017. Yet by eliminating shared expenses and increasing the overall budget, the actual amount Michigan Baptists forward to SBC causes is anticipated to increase by approximately $50,000.

Prayer for Sutherland Springs

A resolution “on the mass shooting at First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas,” pledged “prayer for our brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas, as they wrestle with their grief and pain, struggling with the sudden and painful loss of their family, friends, brothers and sisters in the faith.”

The resolution expressed thanks for NAMB’s offer to cover funeral expenses for the slain and proclaimed “that where sin and evil greatly abounded in Sutherland Springs … the grace of God will abound even more to the comfort of God’s people (Romans 5:20), such that they will possess a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) that will serve to point people to the exceeding comfort, mercy, love and grace of Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Officers reelected included: president, Jerome Taylor, pastor of Eastgate Baptist Church in Burton, Mich.; first vice president, Scott Blanchard, pastor of Lakepointe Church in Macomb, Mich.; recording secretary, Roy Henry, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Battle Creek, Mich.; and assistant recording secretary, Eli Garza, pastor of First Spanish Baptist Church in Detroit.

Newly elected was second vice president Larry Johnson, pastor of the host congregation.

Among speakers at the annual meeting were BSCM executive director Tim Patterson and Kevin Smith, executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 6-7 at Grace Church in Jackson, Mich.